PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Some of the biggest names in Pittsburgh business reached into their corporate pockets today to be a part of advancing the education of Pittsburgh’s youth.

“It was once a dream that so many of us have and I never thought it would be possible and for the promise to be able to give me that hope and financial stability saying you can go to college. You can continue your education. It’s a gift,” Pittsburgh Promise recipient Evelyn Hernandez said.

That gift got bigger today as corporate and community leaders announced phase two of the Pittsburgh Promise fundraising campaign.

“Like anything we need to get to the goal line and so this is the second half and in the second half, we need to raise $90 million,” Pittsburgh Promise Co-Chair Franco Harris said.

It’s part of an overall $250 million goal the Promise aimed to collect by 2018 when it was first announced in 2007.

Today, the announcement was that the goal is to reach that number in the next two years.

The Promise has already provided $32 million in scholarships to 3,800 graduates of the Pittsburgh Public Schools.

Today’s announcement means enough money to keep the scholarships going for the next 30 years.

Donors like UPMC with a $100 million contribution, American Eagle Outfitters and Mylan who today forked over $1 million dollars each help them fulfill the Promise’s financial goals sooner.

“We’ll continue to be an ambassador for the Pittsburgh Promise so we can close the door to many things and open literally a lifetime and a new world for those children,”

CAPA students performed for the donors, who allow them the opportunity to excel.

“I’m grateful and those tools and I will take them with me through life and I can say I’m from Pittsburgh, I’m a product of the Pittsburgh Public Schools,” Brana Hill said.


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